Isaiah 42; Isaiah 43; Isaiah 44

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Isaiah 42

1 "Here is my servant, the one I support. He is the one I chose, and I am pleased with him. I have put my Spirit upon him, and he will bring justice to all nations.
2 He will not cry out or yell or speak loudly in the streets.
3 He will not break a crushed blade of grass or put out even a weak flame. He will truly bring justice;
4 he will not lose hope or give up until he brings justice to the world. And people far away will trust his teachings."
5 God, the Lord, said these things. He created the skies and stretched them out. He spread out the earth and everything on it. He gives life to all people on earth, to everyone who walks on the earth.
6 The Lord says, "I, the Lord, called you to do right, and I will hold your hand and protect you. You will be the sign of my agreement with the people, a light to shine for all people.
7 You will help the blind to see. You will free those who are in prison, and you will lead those who live in darkness out of their prison.
8 "I am the Lord. That is my name. I will not give my glory to another; I will not let idols take the praise that should be mine.
9 The things I said would happen have happened, and now I tell you about new things. Before those things happen, I tell you about them."
10 Sing a new song to the Lord; sing his praise everywhere on the earth. Praise him, you people who sail on the seas and you animals who live in them. Praise him, you people living in faraway places.
11 The deserts and their cities should praise him. The settlements of Kedar should praise him. The people living in Sela should sing for joy; they should shout from the mountaintops.
12 They should give glory to the Lord. People in faraway lands should praise him.
13 The Lord will march out like a strong soldier; he will be excited like a man ready to fight a war. He will shout out the battle cry and defeat his enemies.
14 The Lord says, "For a long time I have said nothing; I have been quiet and held myself back. But now I will cry out and strain like a woman giving birth to a child.
15 I will destroy the hills and mountains and dry up all their plants. I will make the rivers become dry land and dry up the pools of water.
16 Then I will lead the blind along a way they never knew; I will guide them along paths they have not known. I will make the darkness become light for them, and the rough ground smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not leave my people.
17 But those who trust in idols, who say to their statues, 'You are our gods' will be rejected in disgrace.
18 "You who are deaf, hear me. You who are blind, look and see.
19 No one is more blind than my servant Israel or more deaf than the messenger I send. No one is more blind than the person I own or more blind than the servant of the Lord.
20 Israel, you have seen much, but you have not obeyed. You hear, but you refuse to listen."
21 The Lord made his teachings wonderful, because he is good.
22 These people have been defeated and robbed. They are trapped in pits or locked up in prison. Like robbers, enemies have taken them away, and there is no one to save them. Enemies carried them off, and no one said, "Bring them back."
23 Will any of you listen to this? Will you listen carefully in the future?
24 Who let the people of Jacob be carried off? The Lord allowed this to happen, because we sinned against him. We did not live the way he wanted us to live and did not obey his teaching.
25 So he became very angry with us and brought terrible wars against us. It was as if the people of Israel had fire all around them, but they didn't know what was happening. It was as if they were burning, but they didn't pay any attention.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 43

1 Now this is what the Lord says. He created you, people of Jacob; he formed you, people of Israel. He says, "Don't be afraid, because I have saved you. I have called you by name, and you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. When you cross rivers, you will not drown. When you walk through fire, you will not be burned, nor will the flames hurt you.
3 This is because I, the Lord, am your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt to pay for you, and I gave Cush and Seba to make you mine.
4 Because you are precious to me, because I give you honor and love you, I will give other people in your place; I will give other nations to save your life.
5 Don't be afraid, because I am with you. I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.
6 I will tell the north: Give my people to me. people in prison. Bring my sons from far away and my daughters from faraway places.
7 Bring to me all the people who are mine, whom I made for my glory, whom I formed and made."
8 Bring out the people who have eyes but don't see and those who have ears but don't hear.
9 All the nations gather together, and all the people come together. Which of their gods said this would happen? Which of their gods can tell what happened in the beginning? Let them bring their witnesses to prove they were right. Then others will say, "It is true."
10 The Lord says, "You are my witnesses and the servant I chose. I chose you so you would know and believe me, so you would understand that I am the true God. There was no God before me, and there will be no God after me.
11 I myself am the Lord; I am the only Savior.
12 I myself have spoken to you, saved you, and told you these things. It was not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses, and I am God," says the Lord.
13 "I have always been God. No one can save people from my power; when I do something, no one can change it."
14 This is what the Lord, who saves you, the Holy One of Israel, says: "I will send armies to Babylon for you, and I will knock down all its locked gates. The Babylonians will shout their cries of sorrow.
15 I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King."
16 This is what the Lord says. He is the one who made a road through the sea and a path through rough waters.
17 He is the one who defeated the chariots and horses and the mighty armies. They fell together and will never rise again. They were destroyed as a flame is put out.
18 The Lord says, "Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past.
19 Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don't you see it? I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land.
20 Even the wild animals will be thankful to me -- the wild dogs and owls. They will honor me when I put water in the desert and rivers in the dry land to give water to my people, the ones I chose.
21 The people I made will sing songs to praise me.
22 "People of Jacob, you have not called to me; people of Israel, you have become tired of me.
23 You have not brought me your sacrifices of sheep nor honored me with your sacrifices. I did not weigh you down with sacrifices to offer or make you tired with incense to burn.
24 So you did not buy incense for me; you did not freely bring me fat from your sacrifices. Instead you have weighed me down with your many sins; you have made me tired of your many wrongs.
25 "I, I am the One who forgives all your sins, for my sake; I will not remember your sins.
26 But you should remind me. Let's meet and decide what is right. Tell what you have done and show you are right.
27 Your first father sinned, and your leaders have turned against me.
28 So I will make your holy rulers unholy. I will bring destruction on the people of Jacob, and I will let Israel be insulted."
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 44

1 The Lord says, "People of Jacob, you are my servants. Listen to me! People of Israel, I chose you."
2 This is what the Lord says, who made you, who formed you in your mother's body, who will help you: "People of Jacob, my servants, don't be afraid. Israel, I chose you.
3 I will pour out water for the thirsty land and make streams flow on dry land. and my blessing on your descendants.
4 Your children will grow like a tree in the grass, like poplar trees growing beside streams of water.
5 One person will say, 'I belong to the Lord,' and another will use the name Jacob. Another will sign his name 'I am the Lord's,' and another will use the name Israel."
6 The Lord, the king of Israel, is the Lord All-Powerful, who saves Israel. This is what he says: "I am the beginning and the end. I am the only God.
7 Who is a god like me? That god should come and prove it. Let him tell and explain all that has happened since I set up my ancient people. He should also tell what will happen in the future.
8 Don't be afraid! Don't worry! I have always told you what will happen. You are my witnesses. There is no other God but me. I know of no other Rock; I am the only One."
9 Some people make idols, but they are worth nothing. People treasure them, but they are useless. Those people are witnesses for the statues, but those people cannot see. They know nothing, so they will be ashamed.
10 Who made these gods? Who made these useless idols?
11 The workmen who made them will be ashamed, because they are only human. If they all would come together, they would all be ashamed and afraid.
12 One workman uses tools to heat iron, and he works over hot coals. With his hammer he beats the metal and makes a statue, using his powerful arms. But when he becomes hungry, he loses his power. If he does not drink water, he becomes tired.
13 Another workman uses a line and a compass to draw on the wood. Then he uses his chisels to cut a statue and his calipers to measure the statue. In this way, the workman makes the wood look exactly like a person, and this statue of a person sits in the house.
14 He cuts down cedars or cypress or oak trees. Those trees grew by their own power in the forest. Or he plants a pine tree, and the rain makes it grow.
15 Then he burns the tree. He uses some of the wood for a fire to keep himself warm. He also starts a fire to bake his bread. But he uses part of the wood to make a god, and then he worships it! He makes the idol and bows down to it!
16 The man burns half of the wood in the fire. He uses the fire to cook his meat, and he eats the meat until he is full. He also burns the wood to keep himself warm. He says, "Good! Now I am warm. I can see because of the fire's light."
17 But he makes a statue from the wood that is left and calls it his god. He bows down to it and worships it. He prays to it and says, "You are my god. Save me!"
18 Those people don't know what they are doing. They don't understand! It is as if their eyes are covered so they can't see. Their minds don't understand.
19 They have not thought about these things; they don't understand. They have never thought to themselves, "I burned half of the wood in the fire and used the hot coals to bake my bread. I cooked and ate my meat. And I used the wood that was left to make this hateful thing. I am worshiping a block of wood!"
20 He doesn't know what he is doing; his confused mind leads him the wrong way. He cannot save himself or say, "This statue I am holding is a false god."
21 "People of Jacob, remember these things! People of Israel, remember you are my servants. I made you, and you are my servants. So Israel, I will not forget you.
22 I have swept away your sins like a big cloud; I have removed your sins like a cloud that disappears into the air. Come back to me because I saved you."
23 Skies, sing for joy because the Lord did great things! Earth, shout for joy, even in your deepest parts! Sing, you mountains, with thanks to God. Sing, too, you trees in the forest! He showed his glory when he saved Israel.
24 This is what the Lord says, who saved you, who formed you in your mother's body: "I, the Lord, made everything, stretching out the skies by myself and spreading out the earth all alone.
25 I show that the lying prophets' signs are false; I make fools of those who do magic. I confuse even wise men; they think they know much, but I make them look foolish.
26 I make the messages of my servants come true; I make the advice of my messengers come true. I say to Jerusalem, 'People will live in you again!' I say to the towns of Judah, 'You will be built again!' I say to Jerusalem's ruins, 'I will repair you.'
27 I tell the deep waters, 'Become dry! I will make your streams become dry!'
28 I say of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd and will do all that I want him to do. He will say to Jerusalem, "You will be built again!" He will tell the Temple, "Your foundations will be rebuilt."' "
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.